– Gabrielle Calvocoressi –

Let yourself get loose and double.        It's funny how he says that too.            We're in bed or
we're lying  

          in the lake on someone's raft                        and I start talking
worrying some thing

                   and he says, Shhh                                           just let yourself
get loose 


and double. What does that mean       I guess to let go to go and let          him in. We're in
bed or we're 

             lying on the wooden raft                  (is it the ranchers?) in the middle     of the
lake, light 

                      coming to us in waves                         from shore. I say,
The war

into his shoulder like a question           like a kiss so that he'll stop me        before I really
start to say it

            but can tell myself I tried                        the war the word makes my lips open
enough to feel  

                   the warmth on his skin                                 the question makes them close
          so he 


turns over saying You want to do it here?        And I decide what it means       out there on the
lake, the light

            like a visitation, the raft bobbing         before we've started moving                                 I
start to worry

                           He says,  Let's talk about the war              I say no I want the other


I want to let myself get loose and double like the light does here             on some stranger's raft
I want 

            to do the other thing                          I want to see us blossom
so we're four  

                     so he's two above me                       while the green spreads


wings                    like wings



Falcon in the trees

                               bobcat in the grasses

The hermit took us through the orchard to see the white pomegranate.  I asked when they'd
be ripe.

In the fall.  Past us, I thought.

                                    if the Bandleader cared it didn't show

though he liked the hermit                    or the idea of the hermit            "How much do you

How much does a hermit cost all through dinner

                                and how we couldn't take the pomegranates home

I asked if they'd get red and the hermit said no they'd stay like this.

                                I asked, "Are they sweet?"                               "Sweeter." then deeper

                                                                                                                            into the

orchard until

I couldn't see the Bandleader anymore.                         Just green everywhere and the hermit's
straw hat

                                   like the grasses on the ranch we stayed at not gold but--

I can't say.  Something like gold.  I followed him in deeper, not missing the Bandleader
                                                                                                                                     at all.  He

said, "Autumn's good."

And I said, "You mean better?"                         All the greens around us like stars the way
they shimmered                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                        almost wet with

the sun but not

"No." "Not better.  Just good"

                                  I felt a little sick in all the green, like right before a school play starts

                                                                             everyone huddlled in the wings not

nervous just

Too close.  I said, "I saw a bobcat in the grasses.  Last night."                            To steady
myself I touched

                                                                                                                                 the trunk

which was cooler

"Mulberry" he said "That's a mulberry."

                                ignoring the bobcat, which the Bandleader hadn't believed,

                                                                                               "You didn't see a bobcat." I did, I

know it was

"A bobcat lived around here," the hermit said

and put a berry in my hand.               The Bandleader walking up to lean down

                                                                                                                       and take it in his




Locked away we're like a Russian novel

                                 the hermit and the cowboy 

                                 me stepping from the train

                                                       a world of snow
                                                       his Great Coat a den of baby foxes
                                                       skinned and sewn together


We're a fields of stars

                                all the peasants' sheep shorn in haste

                                made into a carpet placed beneath my feet

                                                       the stationmaster's son sent
                                                       through the night to find us
                                                       this small room.


He's the foxes and the wolves

                                  he's the doves with their curved necks

                                  waiting out the rain       he's the grass 

                                                        starting to shake he's the medals
                                                        on his own bureau he's the silver
                                                        glinting on his horse's bridle

I said, Samovar sounds like a knight

                                 It's just a fancy tea pot. He's my samovar

                                 he's the steam that makes my cheeks glow

                                                         so all the women talk he's the snow
                                                         covering the wolf's tracks the party
                                                         of sleds sent out and not returning


He gives me his alphabet of notes

                                One by one each day. He's a thousand pages
                                read across the endless plains til he rides hard

                                                        beneath my window and helps me down
                                                        as the first flakes fall and I say, You brought
                                                        the first snow for me